Eateries will be allowed to operate until 10pm beginning tomorrow, Senior Minister for Security Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced today.
“Any activities related to food, whether restaurants or hawkers, we will allow them to operate up to 10pm,” he said in his daily update on the Covid-19 situation.
Under the movement control order (MCO) covering most of the country, eateries are only allowed to open for takeaway and delivery, and must close by 8pm.
Ismail said the government had heard the grievances of both customers and businesses which were only allowed to open from 6am to 8pm.
“As I said, the government always listens to the views of the people. We realise when many grievances are aired, and we immediately held meetings since last week to discuss the matter.”
He added however that SOPs remain unchanged, with no dining in allowed, only takeaway, delivery and drive-thru.
The original closing time of 8pm had drawn criticism from a group of opposition MPs who said it was an incovenience to those who need to buy food after work as well as a hindrance to reviving the economy.
Ismail earlier told MalaysiaNow that allowing eateries to operate past 8pm would mean that the MCO was no difference from the conditional MCO, under which Covid-19 cases had spiked.
But he said the National Security Council, the main body tasked with managing the pandemic, would deliberate on the matter.